• 100% Student-Produced

    After being trained to follow a shot list on a teacher led project, qualified students earn the right to work independently in a group setting to make a film with a group. Mr. De Barraicua supports these seven production teams to help them complete their short films to be shown to the public. In 2017, among high schools in Los Angeles, our films, "2020" and "The Can" were audience favorites at the Academy of Motion Picture of Arts LAUSD film festival in Beverly Hills.

    2 0 2 0

    Screened to a delighted packed theatre in Beverly Hills at the Academy of Motion Picture of Arts & Sciences


    An Award-Winning Narrative Short inspired by a Classical Song & Charley Chaplin

    S O N S

    a Music Video with a Sci-Fi backstory

    CO N D U IT

    a Romantic Drama


    The Millikan Middle School audience reacts to "Sunny"


    "...a device they call a camera captures the light, and narrative artists use it to tell stories, deliver messages to recode the human spirit..."

    a deciphered entry from a molecular-coded journal -


     Los Angeles, California

    Louis de Barraicua | Human | Teacher | Filmmaker |


    Los Angeles, California



  • "S U N N Y"

    We could be one.

    But who loves the sun?


    Who cares that it's shining?

    It makes plants grow.

    It makes life happen.


    Who cares what it does?

    It makes love happen.

    Who loves the sun?


    Not everyone

    b r e a t h e s

    the light that is shining.


    But they can

    They can if they want to...

  • Millikan Film / Narrative Arts / English Arts


    Teacher-Assisted Narratives

    The following films were narratives written, produced/co-directed by film instructor - Louis De Barraicua. Students were provided shot lists & assisted in auditioning and rehearsing the actors. The scenes were filmed by the students, then approved by the teacher. Scenes were filmed mostly after school. After the project, students independently wrote & produce their own original films.

    A I R

    Dramatic Science Fiction

    "You 'er feel like your days mix?" she asks, bored with the repetitive, unchallenging, predictable pattern life seems to be playing out. To amuse herself, she begins hurting others who breathe the same molecules, the same "Air." If are all indeed truly connected, this narrative explores the emotional trauma that prevents a bully from experiencing "ONENESS" with humanity. Louis De Barraicua wrote "Air" as student training film about a bully who has an asthma attack whose spirit inhabits the bodies of her victims. Her suffering in a split quantum-mechanics-inspired universe allows her soul to begin healing from the extreme neglect she experienced in a Russian orphanage before before she was adopted at as an infant. "Air" was invited to be shown at LACMA as part of the International Children's Film Festival and at Children's Film Festival at Comic Con in San Diego.

    Romantic Science FIction

    Back from a summer spent in Paris, Louis De Barraicua wrote "Sunny" as a result of experiencing "Music Day" with his wife. 90% of this film was shot by students receiving cinematography training before going on to produce their own narratives. The film was a surprise hit with audiences and was awarded "Best Experimental Narrative" at a local L.A. film festival.

    N U B E

    Dramatic Science Fiction

    As a film used to train film and acting students, Mr. De Barraicua wrote "Nube" as a 45-minute film sci-film film. The film was a demanding production with more intense actor performances than usual. After one of the lead actors moved away unexpectedly, the film was edited down to a trailer to commemorate the project.


    Suspenseful Fantasy

    A student training film, students voted to have this film adapted from a short novel and a short film called "The Vormen Problem." Mr. De Barraicua helped students adapt the story into a script and guided them through the filming process.


    Suspenseful Drama

    Shot entirely in one classroom, Mr. De Barraicua wrote this film to help train his students before make their own short films.


    A California Distinguished School Commercial

    Millikan Middle School

    By providing students with a shot list, students filmed a commercial for their performing arts school. 7 groups edited a version of the footage, and the best one was selected as the final commercial.

    P R O T E C T E D


    A scene from a war comedy written by Mr. De Barraicua for his students to act and direct.

  • Louis de Barraicua

    The Millikan Advanced Film Production program is designed for the student is serious about learning narrative filmmaking basics. Some students leave our program with a newfound awareness of their artistic voice.


    Before that discovery, however, creative collaboration comes with seemingly insurmountable challenges. The Advanced Film Production experience varies. For the ambitious young director, it could easily be the most difficult, trying class they've ever taken. For the budding cinematographer, actor, editor or musical scoring artist, it can be the spark that ignites a new life-long interest. The common bond students have is a passion to make original films, respect and collaborate with peers, and to earn the trust work independently.


    Three common challenges student encounter are:

    1. Applying the discipline of Classical Storytelling (Conflict, 3 Obstacles, Climax)
    2. Collaborating with others
    3. Pushing through the never-ending, seemingly impossible obstacles to finish a film
    4. Not giving up on the craft after disappointing results

    In the end, Advanced Film Production teaches students more about who they are now and who they want to be by being tasked with collaborative filmmaking to show to their school-wide peers a short film .

    de Barraicua/de Wife/de Kids


    Mr. De Barraicua believes learning should be social, fun, and provide students the ability to learn real-world skills, like writing, speaking, reading, and analyzing. The most complex of those tasks is to collaboratively create a short film with classmates, an opportunity he provides to students admitted into Advanced Film Production.


    He began filmmaking as an award-winning short story writer from USC. After a brief stint as a copywriter writing ads for Nike & working working Advanced Marketing Strategy & Research for a Japanese auto company. Louis began writing films for filmmaker friends. When the vision he had for his stories seemed to be distant from what was being realized on screen, he began learning the skills and craftsmanship behind filmmaking..


    While occasionally freelancing to shoot commercials and occasional photography projects, he sometimes writes short films and co-directs them with his Advanced Film Production students.


    Instead of coming up with a story concept, he realized there was a segment of students who really just want the chance to film. He provided those students with a shot and cast his own students. Co-directing the occasional film is a way to model the role of a producer, writer, director, editor. Also, guiding new filmmakers through the inevitable "I give up" phase. Finishing a film takes an unnatural amount of grit, and Louis De Barraicua helps students push through what seems like an insurmountable amount of obstacles.


    Besides film, he teaches English Language Arts. He has been working closely with one of the most creative and engaging teachers at Millikan, Linda Axelson. He began interviewing and documenting Mrs. Axelson's teaching process to help him improve his own practice before she retires in 2018. They've even decided work on a culminating project to organize observations.


    Mr. De Barraicua uses a online management system to manage assignments and grading in real-time for parents to access and work collaboratively in ensuring a student's academic success.


    One of Mr. D's students who overcame many challenging obstacles to follow his dreams. Jonathan has his own production company and works for DreamWorks.


    (click on photo for link to the article)


    From the UCLA Bruin Article:


    The process of Jonathan Coria’s filmmaking began with online YouTube tutorials and an assembly of gadgets from the local hardware store. He needed camera equipment for his new film but didn’t have the hundreds or thousands of dollars needed to buy one. So, Coria decided to make one himself.


    During middle school, Coria was a student in the English as a Second Language program who struggled with English writing. This all changed when Coria met Louis de Barraicua, his English teacher and film mentor. Coria said de Barraicua spoke in class of the determination it takes to be successful by mixing in a multitude of movie references and camera information.

    Coria began visiting de Barraicua’s class after school to learn more about the filmmaking process, and eventually mastered the editing program Final Cut.

    Coria said these sessions showed him how fun it was to piece a movie together and visually organize a film into a quality product that could embody his directorial voice.

    De Barraicua said he believes Coria’s initial exposure to film editing allowed Coria to see the visually expressive shots necessary to create interesting films.

    “Coria is really imaginative and so will always be thinking of ways to show things in an interesting and cool way,” de Barraicua said. “It was inevitable that he would build his own film equipment because of the need to get these creative shots.”

    Besides providing an outlet for his creative expression, Coria said building his own film equipment will impress industry professionals with his dedication, having already set him apart from other applicants for the We Speak English Project.

    “Building something has a different meaning than just buying,” Coria said. “It shows more about what your passion means to you and that you don’t just want to do it, you go do it.”

  • Campus Coverage

    Talent / Insights


    Sarah, a 6th Grader, performed at one of Mrs. Weiss' talent shows. We were so impressed with the heart and soul she put into her performance so asked her if it'd be okay if we filmed her playing her cello.

    A N U S H

    One of the most difficult things about being a filmmaker is being a collaborator. Anush, a Millikan Film Production Student, exemplified what it meant to get along with almost anyone in the toughest of circumstances. When most students would have throw in the towel, her determination and ability to motivate her team helped her finish high quality narrative projects that seemed impossible to complete.